Separation Anxiety, Part II

“06880” is not the only blog to give a shout-out to the New York Times story on hovering parents.

Gawker” took note too.  Here’s a response from a reader named “Admiral_Awesome”:

An aunt of mine is a complete and total combination cool-mom-syndrome/helicopter parent, although she’d never admit to it in a million years, and gets really angry when you say that to her.  Her family lives in Westport Connecticut….

She rented out a nightclub and hired strippers for her younger sons Bar Mitzvah, lets the kids and all their friends drink and smoke pot openly at their house, threw a 400-guest fully catered graduation party with an open bar and cocktail waitresses, they each get a new car every year… you get the idea.

Anyway, the dad is pretty much an absentee … more concerned with his tennis club and social circle than his wife (my aunt), so the older son was always kind of a surrogate to her, running errands, doing household stuff, and generally treated like the man of the house.  When he had to go off to college … she was completely devastated and he was intensely homesick.  She had his entire dorm room redecorated in the style of Van Wilder meets Ralph Lauren, and got an apartment near the school to make visits easier.  Yeah.

Its gotten a bit better since then, but at this point he’s a complete neurotic wreck in general, losing his hair at age 20 and living entirely on Adderall, marijuana and Pepsi.  He also decided he was gay.  And a Republican.  He’s a gay Republican.  Although that isn’t such a shocker, as our family is very conservative in general.  Its just a little hilarious.

Fact or fiction?  “06880” — which hears plenty of stories — has never heard this one.

But the fact that “Gawker” — with millions of page views a month, it’s even bigger than “06880” — would provide a nationally known platform for this Westport tale shows what the world is saying about us.

As of yesterday, no one had posted an anti-Westport remark in the “Comments” section.  I guess “06880” readers are not also “Gawker” fans.

17 responses to “Separation Anxiety, Part II

  1. Dan, Do you really want to know if it’s fact or fiction? So then why did you conveniently delete the information that Gawker provided: her occupation, her husband’s occupation, the number of children in the family, etc.?

  2. Richard Lawrence Stein

    No pertinent info is givin but granted truth could be stranger than fiction… Also maybe this family went to GFA … Or very possibly this is an embellished story… Because there is really no way to enforce Omertà in our lovely town…. Between gossip discussion disbelief NIMBY and take your pick… My position in this Gawker story fiction with bits of truth mixed in

  3. Richard Lowen Stein

    “lets the kids and all their friends drink and smoke pot openly at their house, threw a 400-guest fully catered graduation party with an open bar ”

    If she did it in Connecticut, she broke the law that makes it a crime to serve alcohol to people under 21 (as well as violating state drug laws).

  4. Westport Expat

    I read both Gawker and 06880 religiously – just sayin’ we’re out there. I also grew up in Westport, and moved out of town about 20 years ago. Based on my experiences from the dark ages, I’d say that story is not particularly exaggerated. Making pot and alcohol accessible to teens may be illegal, but most Westporters I know/knew didn’t let something like that get in their way if they wanted to throw a fab party. For the record, I am not Admiral_Awesome.

  5. Sounds pretty exaggerated to me. Maybe bits and parts are true but on a whole it seems really out there.

  6. Richard Lawrence Stein

    An after thought…. Let’s go on the thought that this is all true… Many different laws some more serious than others but I believe felonies none the less what is the statute of limitation on this. In the article there is enough info to figure out who these upstanding and outstanding parents are…. Just a thought.

  7. The Dude Abides

    Is the issue whether such a child could be the product of this town?? Of course he could as well as from Naples, Florida or The Woodlands, Texas or San Clemente, California. Personally, I think it is fictional stereotypical b.s. from some bored fiction writer. I am surprised I didn’t write it but I am very interested in the responses. It would seem the Admiral has rocked the boat in nirvana.

    • Richard Lawrence Stein

      Dude I don’t think he rocked the boat… I do think it is fiction… But I think it is beyond irresponsible and way way over the top

  8. Dude,
    I laughed when I read your comment: “I am surprised I didn’t write it.”
    BTW, isn’t your book coming out soon? You said you would send me a copy!

    • The Dude Abides

      “Fat People Are Harder to Kidnap” will be in your bookstores soon. Final edit of the galleys is now occurring. Movie rights have also been sold. I will certainly give a copy.

  9. Gawker Fiction? Perhaps, but I don’t think so… My daughter graduated from Staples, and although our graduation party at a restaurant included “Mocktails” there was plenty of competition amongst the 350 graduates’ families as the kids hopped from one party to another with glee.

    A new car each year? Fact, and sometimes more once that new car gets totaled by their precocious teen. Or, they just drove Mom’s Benz with their friends piled in the back.

    Helicopter parents? You betcha, some of today’s stroller brigade toddlers will be tomorrows over indulged brats whom believe they are entitled to anything they want. The good news, the majority of teens come from Westport families who help their kids become responsible young adults with love and respect for those around them.

    Mary Ann West

    Dan, your next post HAS to be regarding the New Canaan Schools plan to place microchips in ID cards to keep track of those rascally kids.

    • John McCarthy

      I thought you wrote “place Microchips in those rascally kids.” Too soon, but it is coming…..

  10. Max Stampa-Brown

    You never cease to rouse the town Dan, job well done.
    I think Westporters should play devils advocate and think about the comment on Gawkers as if it were non-fiction. Though aspects of the story (a car each year…) are suspect, I found some of it is plausible, and isn’t that what Westport constantly abides? The, “that’s so farfetched….damn it just could be true!” cliche.
    Not that urban dictionary is a credible source, but if you look up Fairfield County you’ll find that we’re: “The underage drinking and weed capitol of the country”(http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=fairfield%20county) and being one of those underage residents living in this weed capitol of the country I can safely say that I’ve MET teens just like the “gay conservative” showcased in the gawker comment. Okay, maybe she/he was not 100% fitting to the mold but pretty damn close, and that’s what should be known is that you CAN find humans just ’em. More importantly that they/we/I am a product of this society of vineyard vine vindicates…and is it bad? or good? or who gives a damn?

    BACK TO DAN
    ‘But the fact that “Gawker” — with millions of page views a month, it’s even bigger than “06880″ — would provide a nationally known platform for this Westport tale shows what the world is saying about us.’

    So, similar to Urban Dictionary (like I said maybe not a credible source, but thousands of teenagers and parents of teenagers use the website daily) the Gawker Commenter has contributed to the Westport/Fairfield Country Stereotype for better or worse. It’s silly to ignore it and go back to our waspy ways. I’m not saying embrace it. But personally I think we could all get down with ‘The Dude Abides’ and kidnap some fat people.

    On a side note, I’m going to miss the living daylight out of my Mother and Father. Separation and the hardships of coping without your loved ones is what this goes back to. I know a few peers of mine who’ll get along fine. Defying the FFC Stereotype day by day.

  11. Max presents a vaild perspective.

    There are many local parents who make the kid-endangering mistakes of the mom in the Gawker comment. Some of these kids whom they victimize (These are not necessarily their own children) quickly curtail or slowly impair their college careers through binge drinking, self medication with drugs and the like because of the self-indulgent habits picked up during middle and high school.

    There are also many students who when they go away to college cannot wean themselves from their parents writing their papers, the tutors their parents pay for who prop them up, the secretaries and those beholden to their parents who provide editing skills and connections, and the plagiarism that they get away with in high school.

    Wouldn’t it be a shame to have these kids miss their parents not because of genuine affection and respect but only because they got them an edge or made the exit from the cocoon easier.

    The butterfly emerging from the cocoon is crippled and flightless if you assist it.

  12. Personally, my parents were about as relaxed parents as I know. They didn’t push me to study every night, they didn’t make me take this or that AP class, they didn’t lecture me about drugs…

    And all this lack of “helicoptering” really allowed me to find what I loved all by myself, and I personally was able to motivate myself to do well in school.